Beirut: A Syrian military offensive has left 33 people dead in and around the restive town of Hama, with seven children among the latest victims, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The London-based observatory said on Monday that the central town had come under machine-gun and rocket fire just as the UN Security Council was holding an emergency session which condemned an earlier massacre in the country on Sunday.
Five woman and four military deserters were among the victims of Sunday's attack, said the observatory, which had previously put the toll at nine dead.
"There was fighting among soldiers and deserters. The soldiers were killed and the army responded violently, directly targetting residential areas," militants in Hama told.
"People came out on to the streets shouting that they needed medical help. One house was bombarded and collapsed on its inhabitants," they added.
The new toll bought the number of people killed throughout the country on Sunday to 48.
The UN Security Council strongly condemned the Syrian government for using artillery in a massacre on Friday and Saturday in which at least 108 people were killed and 300 others injured.
UN officials told the emergency Security Council meeting on the slaughter in Houla that the dead included at least 49 children.
Russia, Syria's main ally, signed up to the Security Council statement which "condemned in the strongest possible terms" the killings in the village near the protest city of Homs.
There are now more than 280 unarmed military observers in Syria to monitor a cessation of hostilities that started officially on April 12 but lurches closer to collapse each day.
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is to brief the Security Council on Wednesday on his efforts to end the 15-month old crisis.
The UN says more than 10,000 people have been killed in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Assad, while activists put the figure at over 13,000.


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